Clean and Wash

This afternoon my four year told me she could not wait to grow up so she could be like me and clean and wash dishes. My heart sank. In her little world that’s what I do. She was not counting the part time work I do, she was not thinking about the various volunteer jobs I do at my older child’s school, she was not thinking about how involved I am with church. She didn’t look at me as a Sunday School teacher, she has no idea that I had a successful career back before she was even born, that I worked internationally. She looks at me and sees someone who cleans the house. She also just sees the physical cleaning, she doesn’t think of the laundry I do, or how I use those Purex salts to make sure the kids blankets and sheets smell so yummy, like my grandmother used to do for me. She doesn’t see me scheduling doctors appointments and taking care of the pets, planning meals, planning vacations and all the other things moms do to make life special for their families. In her mind, I must like to clean and wash dishes (funny thing is we have a dishwasher, so I rarely wash a dish), or it looks like fun because grownups (mainly mom in our house) get to do that. I sat her down and I said you know it is fun to be able to do grown up chores, but you can do so many other things when you grow up- doctor, astronaut, cowgirl, teacher, vet anything you want to do and that’s why it’s so cool and special to be a girl. But in my mind I knew I was lying. I had my time to soar, I was good at my job and I loved my job, but I loved my kids more, so now I clean and run a household, and while it gives me time with my kids, it is not what I want my kids to think is what moms become, but the sad truth is, that happens. You can not have it all. You can’t. You will always be missing something-working and missing your kids, being with your kids and missing your career. You can work part time and then you are missing money. I love my kids and I love my family, but I don’t love being labeled for my domestic abilities from my kids. I want them to see who I really am and to want to help others, make a vocation for themselves and to soar. To not one day be in the eyes of her children just a mom who cleans, I can remember my own grandmother who raised me cleaning like crazy, our house was immaculate, but she was always working on something for us. It shocks me now to think of how much she did and never once complained, I wonder if she stared out the window like I do some days thinking of all the more that is out there, or if she was content with the running of the house being her life. 


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